More gangs in Benue surrender arms to Amnesty committee

BENUE-STATEThe amnesty programme of Gov. Samuel Ortom received a major boost on Tuesday when some gangs from Kwande Local Government surrendered assorted automatic weapons to the state.

Ortom spoke at the Benue People’s House when he received the AIG Zone 4, Mr Yahaya Ardo.

The governor expressed delight that the programme was yielding positive results.

He said the programme was extended at the instance of one Terwase Akwaza, alias Ghana, who surrendered at the end of August when the programme was expected to expire.

The governor said Akwaza had pleaded for an extension to enable some of his members embrace the programme.

Ortom said the amnesty programme was needed to recover illegal arms in the state to make the place safe for investment and boost social activities.

“If we can secure lives and property in the state my plans to industrialise the state, create massive jobs, wealth, and opportunities through micro, small and medium scale enterprises will strive.’’

He also assured the police and other security agencies operating in the state of his governments resolve to provide logistic to them to enhance their operations.

“I assure the police and other security agencies in the state of our support through the provision of logistics in order to enable them perform maximally,’’ he said.

He, however, warned that his administration intended to wield the `big stick’ at the end of the amnesty programme on criminal still harbouring arms.

He, therefore, called on law enforcement agencies to brace up to the challenge of apprehending defaulters at the end of the September dateline.

He commended the Inspector General of Police for the renewed vigor to fight crime in the country.

Earlier, Ardo had requested assistance from the state government and major stakeholders, including traditional, religious, and other community leaders in intelligence gathering.

He, however, lauded the inspector-general of police for taking measures to improve the welfare of the force.

Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, retired Col. Edwin Jando, said the surrendered arms had been expected by the committee.

The Kwande Local Government had been tagged haven of militia activities and its Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mrs Helen Ikpambese, had alluded to the claims of insurgency in the area.

Ikpambese had said that efforts were underway to get the various gangs to lay down their arms.

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